1947: Swindon School of Fencing, led by Captain W F Childs, gained a double victory at Reading University. The men’s team won by seven matches to two and the women six to three.
1957: Sixteen-year-old Leslie Warren, of Kingsdown Road, one of only two boys to take part in the children’s dancing festival held by British Railway Staff Association Western Region in Swindon, won the Challenge Cup.
1977: Part of the labour force at Wootton Bassett’s Town Council Jubilee Lake Project was immobilised for a short time until wellington boots were hastily loaned to enable the distinguished visitors from the Manpower Services Commission Job Creation Scheme to negotiate the sea of mud near the entrance. They were impressed by the work to create a natural park for the whole community.
2013: Swindon Council was looking for foster carers and adopters from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, as part of the second annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week. The town’s first gay male couple to foster a child, Anthony Purcell and Mike Wadley, of Gorse Hill, were encouraging more people to become foster carers.
1675: John Flamsteed was appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.
1790: France was divided into 83 départements, cutting across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.
1882: Britain’s first electric trams ran in east London.
1890: The longest bridge in Britain, the Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet (520 m) long, was opened by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.
1918: The first case of Spanish flu occurred, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.
1976: The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention was formally dissolved in Northern Ireland resulting in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London by the British parliament.
1980: Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe won a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe’s first black prime minister.
2001: A massive car bomb exploded in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, seriously injuring one person. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA.
1928: Alan Sillitoe – English author.
1932: Miriam Makeba – South African singer-songwriter and actress.
1944: Bobby Womack – American singer-songwriter.
1948: Shakin’ Stevens – Welsh singer-songwriter.
1953: Emilio Estefan – Cuban-American drummer and producer.
1972: Alison Wheeler – English singer-songwriter with The Beautiful South.
1976: Gary Shortland – English figure skater.
1992: Jazmin Grace Grimaldi – American daughter of Albert II, Prince of Monaco.
1915: William Willett – English founder of British Summer Time.
1946: Bror von Blixen-Finecke – Swedish hunter.
1948: Antonin Artaud – French actor and director.